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Pension sector must reflect change in customer needs

Aegon chief executive Otto Thoresen believes the industry needs to change the way it looks at people’s retirement savings in order to engage with consumers.

Speaking at the Money Marketing retirement planning summit, Thoresen said the baby-boomer generation, now approaching retirement, does not see itself as old but is looking at the first years of retirement as a second adolescence and retirement saving needs to be flexible enough to accommodate such changing attitudes.

“We need to look at people’s assets the same way they do.”

Thoresen said the industry must be aware that income no longer needs to fit the traditional model of high levels immediately after retirement and then tailing off.

Instead, he said the need for income is now U-shaped, with the first two stages fitting the old model but a new final stage of a sharply increased need for income as people deal with the costs of long-term care and ill health as longevity increases.

Thoresen said the industry needs a new A-Day to simplify the rules on retirement income to allow changing customer needs to be met. “The customers’ voice must be at the heart of policymaking,” he said.

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